In India, there is no end to festivities. There is definitely a celebration going on in some part of the country while you read this article. That’s the beauty of our culture, our diversity. Be it Christmas or Holi, people from all walks of life come together to celebrate each festival. One such upcoming festival is Ganesh Chaturthi. This 10-day long festival begins with the sthapna (placement) of Lord Ganesha in our homes, ending with a visargan (immersion) of the idol into the holy rivers. Festivals are a time of fun and food. Special delicacies are prepared, to be offered to the Lord as well as enjoyed by the worshippers. The most significant of all is modak. It is the quintessential dessert during Ganesh Chaturthi. Made with flour and jaggery, these sweet balls come with a pointed peak on top, giving them a unique shape. Today, you would find all kinds of modak, from chocolate to coconut. 

The question that often comes to mind is why modaks? Legend has it that once Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati visited Anusuya’s house along with their son, Lord Ganesha. When they sat down to eat, the lady served Ganesha with a sweet dumpling in order to satisfy his appetite. He instantly burped and the next thing we knew, Lord Shiva burped too. Not once, but 21 times. That’s how Parvati discovered the secret of this sweet dumpling called modak and declared that Lord Ganesha would be served 21 modaks by his devotees every year on Ganesh Chaturthi. 

Interesting, right? Well, what’s more interesting is that the food fiesta in this long-drawn festival is not limited to just modaks. Heartily celebrated across Maharashtra and Karnataka, the worshippers prepare some delectable sweet and savoury delights to please the diety. Here are some of them that you could try. 

1. Karanji 

Bearing a great resemblance to our Gujiya, Maharashtrians prepare these half-moon shaped crispy delights. The crusty outer layer is complemented by the sweet coconut and jaggery stuffing inside. The flaky dessert is a must-have during this time. 

2. Puran Poli 

These thin crepes are made with lentils like moong and tuvar daal. Rolled like a parantha, the puran poli is filled with coconut, jaggery and elaichi and oodles of ghee. The soft bread is an important part of the celebrations too. 

3. Thalipeeth 

Here we are adding a savoury to your list. Relish these Indian-style pancakes, made from a host lentils like chana and moong dal as well as rice and wheat, with a crispy outer layer. To accompany this, butter and ghee are served along with curd and even pickle. 

4. Sheera 

This is a sweet, thick pudding that is made from semolina and stuffed with crunchy nuts. The ghee and sugar lend it a rich taste, making it a popular offering during Ganesh puja. 

5. Choorma Ladoos 

The word choorma itself makes the ladoos sound crunchy, right? The jaggery-sweetened ladoos are common place in Maharashtra during Ganesh Chaturthi. 

6. Shrikhand 

A delicacy in Gujarat too, this flavoured hung curd dessert is heavenly. Small nibbles of crunchy nuts in between the creamy layers give such a refreshing taste. 

Enjoy these lip-smacking delicacies when you bring home bappa this year!